Last week I posted my favourite solos by Rafi sung for Chitragupt. I’m here today with the second part of the series. It focuses on his duets with female and male playback singers. Rafi and Chitragupt both were very simple and down to earth personalities. Their sincerity and dedication is quite evident from their songs. Chitragupt consistently offered songs to Rafi perhaps because their wavelengths matched perfectly, so each and every song did glow bright and was popular.
Chitragupt was more fond of duets and majority of his films had popular and really wonderful duets. If one wants to experience Chitragupt’s magic, duets is the way.
Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar were Chitragupt’s favourite playback singers. So it’s not a surprise, he composed a number of melodious duets for them. Having said that, Rafi’s duets with other female playback singers were also popular, mainly with Asha Bhosle and Suman Kalyanpur.
Among the male playback singers, off hand, I could remember Rafi’s duets with Manna Dey. For other male singers, I had to search.
So without a further ado, let’s hit the list.
1. With Lata Mangeshkar
I obviously have a long list of songs to add. Of course I’ve left out a few popular songs to limit their number. As Lata and Rafi were his most favourites, we can have an entire post dedicated to their duets. I’ve tried to highlight a few of my favourites. (And I am aware you won’t call it ‘a few’! But anyways!)
Chhupa Kar Meri Aankhon Ko – Bhabhi (1957) / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishan
Bhabhi was Chitragupt’s first celebrated social. He indeed composed extremely melodious and catchy songs. So many popular songs in a single film. It’s such a beautiful song. The sweetness is unparalleled.
Koi Bata De Dil Hai Jahan – Main Chup Rahungi (1962) / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishan
Again a similar cute romantic song. So effortlessly rendered by both the singers. Whenever the duo sang for Chitragupt, a masterpiece was born.
Ek Baat Hai Kehne Ki – Samson (1964) / Lyrics – Majrooh
It’s one of my great favourites. I always assumed the female playback singer was Suman Kalyanpur, but after listening carefully I could recognise Lata’s voice. Such a wonderful melody for a stunt film. Ameeta looks beautiful and Firoz Khan also looks handsome.
Laagi Chhute Na Ab To Sanam – Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1959) / Lyrics – Majrooh
The entire film is studded with melodious songs. Rafi is the choice for both the actors. The song is popular for years and adored by old film song lovers even today. Perfect expressions and soulful singing. Chitragupt more or less repeated the tune later for the film, Zabak, where Teri Duniya Se Door again became popular.
Ye Parbaton Ke Daire – Vasna (1968) / Lyrics – Sahir
Another romantic number. I guess Chitragupt had only one film with Sahir and all the songs were wonderful. Excellent lyrics, perfect rendition and catchy melodious romantic tune. Very impressive orchestration. Unfortunately after 1968, Chitragupt’s health wasn’t good. His heart trouble almost kept him away from working for a few years.
Aadhi Raat Ko Khanak Gaya – Toofan Mein Pyar Kahan (1966) / Lyrics- Prem Dhawan
Have you heard of this Ashok Kumar starrer? Less likely. But you must be aware of a couple of melodies from the movie. The first part also had a solo from the movie and this part has a fast paced typically sweet Chitragupt melody. Nothing more to say. Just enjoy!
Daal Bhi De Zulfon Ki Chhaao – Ramu Dada (1961) / Lyrics – Majrooh
I’m very much fond of the songs from the movie. I don’t care which grade the film belongs to! I just enjoy the song. Another sweet romantic number. The list is practically endless. I must control myself now. The song has Salim Khan (I guess so) and Jaymala (again IGS). It is said that the word Zulf was later changed to Palak (God knows why) and the mixing of the song went wrong. You can watch the video here.
Woh Door Jo Nadiya Behti Hai – Barkha (1959) / Lyrics – Rajendra Krishan
In contrast to the earlier songs, this one has brother (Jagdeep) and sister (Nanda) travelling in a bullock cart. They are teasing each other playfully. Of course the chemistry between the singers creates magic here as well.
A careful look at Chitragupt’s choice of female playback singers in the early 1950s reveals he was not dependent on a particular singer. Most of his films would have a few songs distributed among Shamshad Begum, Asha Bhosle and Geeta Dutt. There are various combinations of the three singers in different movies.
Shamshad would have a major share in one movie, while Geeta Dutt in the other. Similar situation for Asha Bhosle, she would sing just a song for a movie, while other movies would have her major share. Chitragupt was yet to find his muse. Let’s now enjoy Rafi’s duets with other playback singers.
2. With Asha Bhosle
At a glance it looks like Asha Bhosle had no definite place in Chitragupt’s team. She was a part of his team when Lata Mangeshkar wasn’t. Later she was called in as per need, for peppy energetic numbers or songs of supporting characters. Though for a few low budget films, she was the lead singer, her association with Chitragupt wasn’t much talked about. She also has a few popular songs with Rafi under his baton.
Ae Saba Unse Keh Zara – Alibaba Aur 40 Chor (1954) / Lyrics – Raja Mehdi Ali Khan
The film had a couple of solos and a duet by Asha Bhosle. Lata or not, A grade stars or not, Chitragupt’s melody never fails. This song is a perfect example of that. What a sublime melody! Feels like romance is in the air! Shakeela looks beautiful, and her facial expressions are good. But I couldn’t believe the lyricist was Raja Mehdi Ali Khan! The lyrics are so plain and clichéd.
O Kali Topiwale Zara Naam – Kali Topi Lal Rumal (1959) / Lyrics – Majrooh
In this film both the female singers Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar sang for both the ladies, Kumkum and Shakeela. Obviously Chitragupt chose them keeping in mind the mood of the song. Asha Bhosle suits perfectly for this teasy, naughty song.
Aana Hai To Chale Aao – Taxi Stand (1959) / Lyrics – Majrooh
The video of the song is not available, otherwise we would have enjoyed Anita Guha and Chandrashekhar singing this romantic duet. In addition to the lovely tune, orchestration is also good and creates a perfectly magical aura of a romantic evening. Asha Bhosle was the lead female singer for the movie, though Geeta Dutt also had a couple of songs.
3. With Geeta Dutt
Chitragupt was composing independently from 1946, and Lata Mangeshkar sang for him for the first time in 1955 for the AVM production, Shivbhakta. In the earlier period he was offering the songs to Geeta Dutt and Shamshad Begum and to Asha Bhosle to some extent. A few of his films in the early 1950s had Geeta Dutt as the lead female playback singer. Though most of the time, other singers would be there for supporting characters. Geeta Dutt’s association with Chitragupt would be interesting to explore. I’m going to do just that. Even after Lata’s entry to his team, Chitragupt offered a few low budget films to Geeta Dutt for a few years, actually up to the early 1960s. Though now,songs were few and far between, and mostly for the supporting characters. Let’s listen to a couple of melodious duets composed by Chitragupt.
Badi Mushkil Se Ye Aisi Sham – Tarang (1952) / Lyrics – D N Madhok
Chitragupt’s magical touch has made this song a good piece to listen to. Apt expressions and good tune.
Ho Chat Mangani To Pat Shadi – Chalbaaz (1959) / Lyrics – Anjum Jaipuri
While Lata Mangeshkar was the lead singer for the movie, the song picturised on Kumkum and Johny Walker was offered to Geeta Dutt. Chitragupt arranges in the rock n roll style for the light hearted comedy number. It’s fun, as the couple discusses the pros and cons of marriage. The lady obviously is in favour while the man tries to avoid it.
4. With Suman Kalyanpur
Suman Kalyanpur entered the world of playback in 1954. From her early days, she joined Chitragupt’s musical team. He offered her a fair number of songs, mainly for mythological and b grade films. But in the 1960s, she did sing for the main lead as well. But she never became his first choice. Let me add a few of my favourite songs, though I’ve left out many of them.
Jabse Hum Tum Baharon Mein – Main Shadi Karne Chala (1962) / Lyrics – Majrooh
Suman Kalyanpur was the main playback singer for the movie. The song is immensely popular among old Hindi film song lovers and is still continues to enchant. I’m very much fond of the song. Both the singers sing small fragments of lines, so the timing and coordination plays an important role. It’s very pleasant to listen to and another version sung by Mukesh and Kamal Barot is also popular.
Bahot Haseen Hai Tumhari Aankhen – Aadhi Raat Ke Baad (1965) / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
The majority of songs were sung by Lata Mangeshkar and the duet was offered to Suman Kalyanpur because Lata had stopped singing with Rafi. But she has managed very well to leave a mark of her own in the single opportunity. The song remains a well known popular number.
Saiyan Dekh Dekh Dekh – Police Detective (1960) / Lyrics – Prem Dhawan
In this movie as well, Lata Mangeshkar was the main singer. But for one duet, she was paired with Rafi, perhaps for a supporting character. It’s a good song, a typical Chitragupt melody.
5. With Shamshad Begum
I can say the same thing about Shamshad Begum, that she was his choice till Lata Mangeshkar entered his team. Geeta Dutt and Asha Bhosle did survive in his team in the 60s, but Shamshad Begum rapidly disappeared. I’ve only one song to highlight here.No prizes for guessing.
Ada Se Jhoomte Hue – Sindbad The Sailor (1952) / Lyrics – Anjum Jaipuri
A song is about to be 70 years old , yet sounds as fresh as a 17 year old. A really wonderful song that inspired a similar sounding song in Chitragupt’s own later film. (Have you guessed the inspired song)
6. With Manna Dey
Manna Dey has always been his second choice. He has opted for him for the songs of supporting characters. I think that’s why there are a handful of duets between the two. Otherwise in general male male duets are rare.
And for today’s post I’ve chosen,
O Babu Tel Malish – Baraat (1960) / Lyrics – Majrooh
A pair of friends advertising their speciality. Ajit offers head massage and Mukri shoe polish. An enjoyable song. Manna Dey of course lends voice to Mukri while Rafi sings for Ajit. Both of them sing aptly enjoying themselves.
Would you add a song?
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